The second Qingdao Multinationals Summit attracts global guests in Qingdao, Shandong province on July 15. [Photo provided to]

China will provide new development opportunities for multinational companies, according to Gu Xueming, director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation at the second Qingdao Multinationals Summit.

The second Qingdao Multinationals Summit opened in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong province on the evening of July 15.

The summit, jointly held by the Ministry of Commerce and the Shandong provincial government, focuses on the position of multinationals in the global industrial chain system and the symbiotic relationship between multinationals and the Chinese market. Attendees included 390 Fortune Global 500 companies and 517 industry leaders.

Liu Jiayi, Party chief of Shandong province delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, expressing his willingness to share new development opportunities with multinationals in terms of new national strategic platforms, new blueprints for building a strong province, new deep-sea industrial promotions, and new breakthroughs in institutional mechanisms, aiming to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results.

By 2020, 219 Fortune 500 companies in Shandong from 23 countries and regions had invested and established 812 enterprises in all cities throughout the province, with total investment valued at $80.9 billion.

According to the organizing committee, agreements for 96 foreign-funded projects worth $11.85 billion were signed at the summit.

Amin Nasser, president of Arabian petroleum and natural gas giant Saudi Aramco, said the summit’s impact is growing thanks to China’s rapid development and high-level opening-up.

Kuniharu Nakamura, CEO of Japanese general trading company Sumitomo Corporation, acknowledged the summit’s positive effect on the market environment of Shandong province, China, and the world.

A research report titled “Multinationals in China: New opportunities arising from a new paradigm” by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation was released at the ceremony.

The report lists in detail the new achievements and new space occupied by multinationals in the development of a new paradigm, analyzes new opportunities that the new development paradigm will create for multinationals, and puts forward new expectations for multinationals under the new paradigm.

The report said that global foreign direct investment has entered a new stage, and the roles of developed and developing economies in attracting FDI are changing. The share of FDI flows into developing economies has increased steadily, from 27.6 percent in 2007 to 47.3 percent in 2019 and 66.3 percent in 2020.

In recent years, FDI flows into Asia have shown a fluctuating upward trend. The continent’s share of global FDI exceeded 50 percent in 2020.

The manufacturing and service industries have been equally prominent in the absorption of FDI. Seventy percent of global manufacturing FDI flows to capital-intensive and technology-intensive industries, while 70 percent of FDI in global services flows to the producer services industry.

Under these circumstances, multinationals are contributing more to the construction of a new development paradigm.

Multinationals play a strong role in developing the high-tech industry in China. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, from 2015 to 2019, the actual use of foreign investment in China’s high-tech industry increased from $16.58 billion to $39.06 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 25.9 percent. Its proportion in China’s actual national use of foreign investment increased from 13.1 percent to 28.3 percent.

Multinationals are a driving force behind the growth and increased quality of China’s foreign trade.

China has been the world’s second largest receiver of FDI for the past four years. From 2015 to 2020, imports and exports of foreign-invested enterprises accounted for about 40 percent of China’s total imports and exports.

In 2019, imports and exports of high-tech products of foreign-invested enterprises to total imports and exports of foreign-funded enterprises accounted for about 60 percent of all national imports and exports of high-tech products.

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